Chris Herman and his wife Sue moved to Lanzarote in 2006. Chris is pastor of the Family Church, teaches languages and has written an amusing book Sandwiches in the Sun about their experiences. He also hails from the same area and church in the UK as us!
His blog is http://sandwichesinthesun.wordpress.com/
Over to you Chris!
As we all know, the stress of work and other worries can often blind us to the beauty around us. That’s when some wise guy tells us to simply ” stop and smell the roses”. In my case it was the worrisome Spanish tax office that recently forced me to do just that.
In Spain, it’s not enough to simply pay your taxes; sometimes you get a snotty letter demanding you to prove it! Having received such a missive last month, I took an early bus to the island’s capital Arrecife. An hour later I arrived at the intercambio (interchange), at the near end of Arrecife’s long Reducto beach. As I strolled alongside the the lovely long stretch of pristine pale golden sand, and felt the warmth of the early morning sunshine, I marvelled again at the beauty of it all. So much so that I was almost thankful to the silly tax office for calling me in!
Having presented my documents, I returned to the bus interchange by the same route. The sand was now partly populated by little groups of sunbathers, and a large square white tent. Arriving alongside the tent, I found myself in a crowd of onlookers. There was some sort of filming going on. It turned out that the biggest department store in the country, El Corte Inglés, had chosen the most beautiful beaches in Lanzarote to film their publicity for the season’s swimsuit collection.
I commented to fellow bystander, “That’s ironic, since we don’t have one of their stores anywhere on the island!”
As I continued on my way back to the bus, I noticed a pleasant cooling breeze had come up, and how inviting the wide new part of the promenade was for an extended stroll, as it snaked away from me along the coast, behind the gardens that lay between me and the recinto ferial, the large square of tarmac used frequently for concerts and other events throughout the year.
I declined its invitation, having already enjoyed a good walk. Anyway, I was feeling in need of a quick snack and coffee, before I hopped onto the hourly bus back to Playa Blanca. Accordingly I kept walking straight to my favourite snack bar, just over the road from the bus interchange.
As I sat and chatted with the staff, they told me how the Canaries had just won a prestigious award from the viewers of NASA’s Earth Observatory web page. The photo I’ve included in this post had been chosen as the best one taken in 2013. As you can see, the islands appear to be swimming like a shoal of fish northwards through the Atlantic, leaving a frothy wake to the south.
That letter from the tax office was really unnecessary; and yet it was good to reflect again on the privilege of living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. So thank you Hacienda (the Spanish tax authority) for summoning me to Arrecife!